Gas Release During Saltwell Pumping: Interpretation of Operational Data

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Description

The Hanford Site has 149 single-shell tanks (SSTs) containing radioactive waste that is a complex mix of radioactive and chemical products. Of these, 67 are known or suspected to have leaked liquid into the surrounding soil, while 82 are considered sound (Hanlon 1999). To minimize the amount of material that potentially could leak into the surrounding soil, all of the SSTs are scheduled to have drainable liquid removed and to be designated as interim stabilized. Of the SSTs, 119 have been declared stabilized, and only 30 require further processing (Hanlon 1999). Many of the tanks have been declared stabilized administratively, ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 58 pages

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Huckaby, J.L.; Peurrung, L.M. & Gauglitz, P.A. September 16, 1999.

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Description

The Hanford Site has 149 single-shell tanks (SSTs) containing radioactive waste that is a complex mix of radioactive and chemical products. Of these, 67 are known or suspected to have leaked liquid into the surrounding soil, while 82 are considered sound (Hanlon 1999). To minimize the amount of material that potentially could leak into the surrounding soil, all of the SSTs are scheduled to have drainable liquid removed and to be designated as interim stabilized. Of the SSTs, 119 have been declared stabilized, and only 30 require further processing (Hanlon 1999). Many of the tanks have been declared stabilized administratively, with only 45 tanks having had drainable liquid removed. The pending consent decree between the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Office of River Protection. (U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington, 1999) sets a milestone to complete interim stabilization by September 2004. While process equipment exists for removing drainable liquid, and its operation is well known from previous pumping campaigns, a number of safety issues associated with the release and potential ignition of flammable gases within the tanks needs to be addressed. The safety concerns associated with flammable gases stem from the observation that some of the waste in the SSTs generates and retains hazardous quantities of flammable gases, including hydrogen, nitrous oxide, and ammonia. Of the 30 SSTs remaining to be declared interim stabilized, 29 need to have drainable liquid removed by saltwell pumping (waste in tank 241-C-106 will be removed by sluicing), and 16 of these are on the Flammable Gas Watch List (FGWL) (Hopkins 1995; Hanlon 1999). Most of these tanks are in Facility Group 2 (Noorani 1997); that is, it is believed that tank operations may induce the release of significant quantities of flammable gas, but gas release does not occur spontaneously. In particular, saltwell pumping to remove the interstitial liquid from SSTs is expected to cause the release of much of the retained gas, both insoluble (principally hydrogen) and soluble (principally ammonia), posing a number of safety concerns (Peurrung et al. 1997; Meader 1996).

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Medium: P; Size: 58 pages

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE00010723

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  • Other Information: PBD: 16 Sep 1999

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  • Report No.: PNNL-13029
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/10723 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 10723
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623009

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  • September 16, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2016, 6:18 p.m.

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Huckaby, J.L.; Peurrung, L.M. & Gauglitz, P.A. Gas Release During Saltwell Pumping: Interpretation of Operational Data, report, September 16, 1999; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623009/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.